A breast lift and a breast reduction are similar operations done to improve the appearance and shape of the breast. In contrast to a breast enlargement, a breast reduction involves making a breast smaller, not larger. Breast lifting is done typically to reshape the breast and lift the nipple, with little or minimal decrease in breast volume or size. The operation for a breast lift or reduction is actually very similar, and the concepts apply to both operations. Breast lifting mainly reshapes and enhances the shape of the breasts, with a necessary removal of loose skin. Very little to no breast tissue removal can be done. Small decreases in size are typically part of a breast lift for women who want to be lifted with no significant change in volume. A slight decrease in size is a realistic expectation.
Breast reduction classically reduces the breast a cup size or more, if necessary. The amount of tissue or volume reduced can vary, and it is a decision for the patient and the surgeon to make together. A discussion about the new size after surgery is typically done before your operation.
Many insurance companies may cover breast reduction surgery. This is done because of pain and discomfort related to large breasts. Heavy breasts or macromastia often cause symptoms such as pain in the back or neck. Shoulder grooving from bra straps, rashes and dermatitis beneath the breasts, and other symptoms are the complaints that typically lead to coverage from insurance companies for breast reduction surgery. Understand clearly that insurance companies do not care about the appearance or cosmetic aspects of your breasts. They are in the business of making money, not providing you with cosmetic surgery. They often are resistant to covering any breast surgery at all. However, if a woman’s breasts are truly large, as demonstrated with color photographic documentation, and if she’s having symptoms described above, often surgery can be covered. The insurance company will typically require approximately 500 g, or about 1 pound of breast tissue per side to be removed. This does vary depending on a woman’s weight. The insurance company may require even more breast tissue removed if the woman is over weight. Remember one pound of breast tissue is a lot of breast volume. Many women mistakenly think their breast weighs 5 pounds or greater. Breasts are actually much lighter. Women who are a C cup and have 1 pound of breast tissue removed may very well have a much smaller breast size than they want. Breast lifts are typically, never covered by insurance companies, except in the case of cancer. The purpose of the operation is for cosmetic improvement of the breast, not improvement of symptoms. Your doctor will help you with the decisions about health insurance coverage and whether you meet the criteria. Most women should be very large, at least a D cup or DD cup or greater, to be a candidate for reduction. Otherwise, lifting is the more appropriate operation. Breast lift recovery and breast reduction recovery is surprisingly easy. This is discussed in detail during consultations.
Dr. Saunders is a board certified plastic surgeon practicing exclusively cosmetic surgery. Media plastic surgery, West Chester plastic surgery and Delaware plastic surgery patients are extremely close to his state licensed plastic surgery surgi-center. Please check out the center on our web page.
Patients interested in breast lift cost, breast lift recovery, and breast lift photos are invited to come in for a complimentary consultation.
Please also see the breast lift before and after photos!